Continuing on my path of honesty this weekend it’s time for some food honesty – If someone were to ask me my favorite food I’d probably say something somewhat sophisticated and foodie acceptable like a roasted duck breast or freshly made papperdelle, when the truth is if I had to pick one thing to eat for the rest of my life bologna would be a top contender. Anyone who says they don’t like bologna has never had a fried bologna sandwich OR they are lying hiding behind the shame of this looked down upon meat. My first trip to a Subway Restaurant I was maybe 10 we were on a family ski vacation in Whistler and I ordered a bologna sandwich.. I am yet to live that down.. BUT they did have it and my bologna sandwich was delicious!
Bologna actually has some fairly noble origins. Originating in its’ namesake Bologna, Italy as a pork sausage flavoured with pepper, coriander, anise, and pistachio nuts. (I’m fairly certain Maple Leaf does not use coriander or anise)
“Bologna is celebrated for producing popes, painters, and sausage.”
~ Lord Byron
Mortadella is its’ more acceptable, grown up cousin. We have two people in our family with the same name, who we
jokingly lovingly refer to as city M. and country M. In this case mortadella is the city to bolognas country.
At home Bologna is often referred to as ‘newfie steak’, no surprise since 60% of bologna’s consumption in Canada is in Atlantic Canada. If the rest of the country shared our eastern love of bologna we would consume 14 million kilograms of the stuff a year.
To illustrate that us academics will research anything, a professor at Memorial University attempted to trace the history of bologna in Canada. It is believed it first came to Canada in the 18th century in trade from Italy.
Living ‘out west’ has really interfered with my consumption of my favorite treat. It is still one of the first things I request when I go home – fried bologna and my Mom’s mac & cheese.. heaven 🙂 Often my Mom tells me she “hears” that you can find bologna in grocery stores here. Let me stop those of you thinking you can buy bologna anywhere. Sure you can buy thin sliced sandwich meat anywhere, you can not buy a whole piece of bologna to thickly slice and fry (or BBQ). I don’t waste my time with the thin sandwich meat. Anyway back to my story.. I have never found the mythical bologna until this week. I’m staying at a friends place for the week and what did I spy in their neighbourhood grocery store but bologna – a long, wax covered piece. It was like spotting a unicorn in a field. Perfect for slicing, frying, and serving up with some mac and cheese. My stay-cation just got a lot better!!!
I will leave you with two things.. One it is not just a lunch meat… Two.. Look how delicious my sandwich looks?!?